Some people view weight loss as a magical “cure-all” for all their problems. They lose weight—only to find their problems are still there or have gotten worse. What kinds of expectations should someone have going into their weight loss journey?
Ensure you are setting realistic and healthy weight loss expectations and goals. For example, if you have never exercised a day in your life, setting a goal of running a half marathon one month from now might be unrealistic. Also, ensure you are not expecting any other aspect of your life to improve (e.g. your marriage or self-worth) just because you have lost, or plan to lose weight. Losing weight indeed can lead to temporary changes in self-esteem and confidence (as well as improved health), but it cannot fix underlying psychological issues such as anger management, relationship conflict, self-loathing, or anxiety.
Are there steps along the way that a person can “check in” mentally to make sure they are doing it for the right reasons and won’t be disappointed when their journey is through?
Yes. Ensure you are losing weight for you and not for someone else. Consult with a team of professionals (that treat both your medical and emotional health) and ask yourself, ‘why do I want to lose weight?’ If the answer is not related to long-term health goal (such as “I want to be healthier and live longer”) and is instead only focused on short-term or superficial goals (such as “I want to lose weight to do better with women”), you may want to reevaluate what other areas in your life need to change first or simultaneously.
Do you have any other recommendations about how to get into the proper mind set for losing weight without disappointment?
Check in with yourself regularly about what messages you are telling yourself about your weight loss journey. Our thoughts play a significant, but often undervalued, role in how we feel and behave, so be mindful of negative self-talk that is getting in the way of your weight loss goals and motivation. I recommend to any client that is trying to lose a significant amount of weight to establish a strong support group, seek medical assistance as needed, and address in counseling the reason(s) for their prior weight management problems.
Dr. Farrah Hauke, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in Scottsdale, Arizona, specializing in assisting clients experiencing anxiety, depression, emotional eating, weight and health concerns, relationship issues and personality disorders. Call today on 602-803-2396 or fill out the contact form.Please like and share this post!